Some racist jerks are throwing KKK flyers around Sioux Falls… with candy. Sticking messages of racial hate in plastic bags with suckers and dropping them on the street isn’t a new Klan trick (though in Maryland last June, some knucklehead thought birdseed would help spread the hate). Neither is the printed matter found in Sioux Falls. The anonymous papers—and we know such anonymity is the mark of cowards trying to avoid the public shame that they know would crumple their perverse adherence to falsehood—include the Confederate traitor flag, spews boilerplate bunk branding Spike Lee’s BlacKKKlansman film “more lies from the Jewish owned and controlled film industry” and the “NAACP, SPLC, ADL, ACLU” all “Run by Dirty Jews!” The flyer also declares the Klan a “WHITE only Christian organization. No Blacks, No Jews, No Mexicans or Fags, No Asians or Satanic Liberal Catholics.” (Nice, I suppose, that the Klan is at least making room for non-satanic moderate Catholics.)
To cleanse my palette from reporting such vile words, I happily post a recent column by Sioux Falls AFL-CIO President Kooper Caraway celebrating the role of organized labor in fighting fascists like the Klan and warning that Klansmen have often been the willing dupes of “the Boss Class”:
It is our duty to let our fellow workers know that Fascism, White Supremacy, and its organizations have only ever existed to divide us as workers and do the dirty work of the Boss Class. The White Nationalists have always been bought and paid for by those in power, they exist not to fight for any ideal, but to destroy the progress made by us as working class people. That is why the SIoux Falls AFL-CIO voted to Ban all Fascists and White Supremacists from our organization.
It is our duty to hold our Brothers and Sisters accountable. We must dispute and disrupt any attempt at advocating or agitating for Fascist and White Supremacist Causes in our workplaces.
It is our duty to organize. We must confront and defeat the ongoing attacks by so called “Alt-Right” organizations on our Working Class communities [Kooper Caraway, “‘No Union for Fascists’: Why the Sioux Falls AFL-CIO Banned White Supremacists,” Sioux Falls AFL-CIO, 2018.08.10].
The North Dakota AFL-CIO reminds us that Hitler viewed organized labor as one of his enemies:
Understand that one of the Nazis’ first acts in Germany was to crush the labor unions. Knowing that organized Labor was a real threat to Nazi control, the fascist government spent two years outlawing unions, jailing leaders who stood up for workers, and setting up a state run system of worker control. Using ruthless violence, intimidation and murder, the Nazis destroyed everything unions had fought for.
Our union sisters and brothers need to remember that Organized Labor was the first item on Hitler’s enemies list [Waylon Hedegaard, “North Dakota Labor Against Nazis,” North Dakota AFL-CIO, 2017.08.17].
The drive for such laws was fueled by Texas businessperson and white supremacist Vance Muse, who despised the doctrine of human equality represented by unions.
Muse argued that the only solution for maintaining segregation was to make union membership or any payment of union dues voluntary. Without such “right-to-work” laws, whites would be “forced” to mingle with blacks: “From now on, white women and white men will be forced into organizations with black African apes whom they will have to call ‘brother’ or lose their jobs,” he warned.
Muse’s hardcore racism led to alliances with groups like the Ku Klux Klan.
The appallingly racist views of Muse and his Christian American Association coincided with the mentality of corporate managers dedicated to holding down wages and maintaining the tight control over workers dating back to the days of slavery. The CEOs of the 1930s recognized that Muse’s segregationist “right-to-work” concept would break up unified worker efforts to claim the rights granted under the 1935 National Labor Relations Act [Roger Bybee, “Right-to-Work Laws Built on Racist Foundations,” The Progressive, 2015.03.04].
Sorry, I don’t have candy to put with that. All I’m putting with these words is my name and my pledge not to be a racist, corporatist dupe.